Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I know, I know.. shame on me

I know a lot of bloggers out there frown on me for changing my background all the time.  Quite frankly, though, I don't mind.  I figure that there are so many cute backgrounds out there, I might as well use them... especially since the ones I use are free!

Lately, with the changing of the spring weather, I needed a different background that felt more 'spring-y'.  So, voila. Enter new background.  It comes from thecutestblogontheblock.com.  Although I don't like ALL of their templates, they do have several cute ones. :-)

And, since I happened to be in this new blog background spree, my mom and sis let me redo theirs as well!! *evil laugh* I'm taking over!!! Mwahahaha!  It's so nice that they allowed me to do that... now that I know their passwords, I can wreak havoc!!!!  Since they trusted me with their information, I'll use it very carefully..

Ok, just kidding.  However, I did redesign their blog backgrounds. Which basically means I just copied and pasted a new background onto it. But, I like to give myself credit. ;-)  I did edit the HTML a little bit, which was SUPER scary.. I was just hoping the whole time that I wouldn't totally ruin their blogs! haha!

Anyway, I thought their blogs turned out really cute.  You can visit them here and here.

As for a quick update, bull sale #1 is just around the corner.. literally!  I always enjoy bull sale season.. but I also don't mind when it's over!  Our life is pretty busy during this season. However, all the bull sales are like little mini vacations with the family, so it is nice in that sense.  This first sale is my favorite... Here's why: 1) there's a swimming pool in the hotel! 2) the day before the sale, while the guys are talking bull with the other ranchers, we ladies head over to a local antique store. 3) It's the longest one, so it means more family time away from home! It's nice. :-)

Ok, maybe I shouldn't say my 'favorite' because the second one is in my grandparent's town, so we get to stay with them... and they serve free donuts over there!! YUM! :-) and free lunch... so, yeah. ;-)  Good times. :-)

But, before I close.... how does everyone like this background??

In Christ's Service,

Monday, February 27, 2012

Just Because it's too Cute!

My dear friend, Samantha, over at Simple Delights, has the most adorable Etsy shop ever-all the way from her cute and welcoming header, all the way down to her little veggie miniatures. And, just because I like her things so much, I had to do another post about it.  She's added some new things that you have got to check out!  It makes me feel 'spring-y'.  Because Springs around here are pretty miserable (the wind blows ALL the time), I have to get my 'spring' feeling on by looking at pretty stuff in stores or on the internet. :-)  Samantha's shop, Emariecreations, is one of the places I go (but not just for Spring!) Plus, I love the way the pictures look in her shop.  The pretty jewelry against delicate china plates. Totally sets the scene! Or, the book, which makes it feel charmingly rustic.

These earrings complete the look if you wore them with the necklace above. The purple color is SO pretty! I have just the shirt that I could wear with these.... ;-) 

Again, an adorable set!  Mum ring, necklace, and bobby pins! She even has earrings.  This would definitely set you up for your spring ensemble that you could wear to parties, get-togethers, and church. 

 Adorable ring. I love the rings SO much! They are so pretty and feminine.

..and they come in so many delicious colors. :-) 

Be sure to stop by her shop. It is way too cute. I wish I could order everything off of there, especially her flower rings and necklaces!

Hope everyone is having a lovely day!  I've got a fun post coming up soon. :-)

In Christ's Service,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Faith to the Move the Mountains

This is probably a familiar subject to many of you.  We've all heard that term, "Faith to Move a Mountain", right? But, how many of you have ever seen the following verse?

Mathew 17: 20 (in the NISB version).  And just so it makes more sense, the disciples had just asked Jesus why THEY hadn't been able to heal the sick man.

"And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have the faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you..."

That is a remarkable verse, isn't it?  Can you imagine being able to move a mountain?  And honestly, what kid, after hearing that, doesn't try to?  I know I did.  I remember driving through to some place and trying to get that mountain to move. I believed it would, or at least, I was pretty sure at the time that I believed it would.  But, a Mustard Seed is VERY small. Ever seen one?  So, I thought that surely I had THAT much faith, and that would mean that the mountain should move, right?  Did it? Nope.

I was always so disappointed. I couldn't understand it.  Why did the Bible say I could do that, but then God didn't let it happen?

Well, if you look at the following verse (Mathew 17:21) it says this:

"But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, this verse does not appear in all versions of the Bible.  And yet, this verse NEEDS to be there.  It explains the whole verse before it! It explains why, when I told that mountain to move, it didn't move.

"That kind doesn't go out except by prayer and fasting".  What I take from this verse is that even though I might have the faith to move that mountain, if I have no reason to (other than just wanting to do it), it isn't going to move.  Look at the verse again. "Prayer and Fasting".  Let's look at both of those in bit more detail.

Prayer is something that you do to talk to the Lord, right? It's a connection.  A connection to either thank Him for what He has done, or request something of Him.  Perhaps you are requesting an answer on what you should do after you graduate, or if you are supposed to go on that missions trip.  So, in the verse referring to praying, I think it's referring to the requesting part of prayer.

Fasting means going a certain amount of time without food. Sounds awful to some, but this was done quite often in the Bible.  Any time someone mourned, they fasted.  When David was troubled about what to do, he fasted.  Prophets fasted, waiting for a word from the Lord.   Fasting is done for various reasons, then.  So, when I read the 'fasting' in that verse, it strikes me as being the fasting as one would do when waiting for an Answer from the Lord.

So then, "except by prayer and fasting" would mean that we aren't supposed to do those things (move mountains, etc) unless we have really consulted and prayed about that.  It isn't something that you just get to do on a whim.  It's something that happens only when it NEEDS to happen.

I guess that would explain why I couldn't move that mountain when I was 10 years old. :-)

That also tells you why I want to learn Greek and Hebrew. 

Why?  Well, I'd love to learn those languages for one reason: to be able to study the original manuscripts of the Bible.  I have no idea where those manuscripts are to be gotten, but I would love to be able to study them in their original language. Imagine how much more you would get out of it?  There are 5 different words in Hebrew/Greek describing "Love" alone! 5 different kinds of love.  Imagine what other words you would find like that? But, when we translate it into English, all those different "loves" turn into one "Love".  So, I imagine we are missing out on a whole lot more.

Since that verse in Mathew isn't in most versions of the Bible, and it is certainly important!, I wonder what other verses have gotten left out.  Wouldn't it be interesting to find out? And to get to really study and see those original writings?

In Christ's Service,

(All Pictures via Pinterest)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentine's Dinner Pictures

Hello! I'm sorry that I'm a bit late in getting the valentine dinner pictures up. I've been a bit busy as of late. :-)

So, Here ya Go!
 This was my 'day time' outfit.  We had drama, so I tried to be comfortable. ;-) I'm wearing a brown 3/4 sleeve brown shirt, a pink blouse, denim skirt, and cowboy loop clogs.

 And for an extra, I wore my heart earrings that my sweet siblings gave me.

 Sitting around visiting before dinner...

 The lovely table, carefully prepared by our Chefs

 A cute heart candle/plate set from my Grandma

 Lovely Daffodils from my Aunt and Uncle..

 My handsome brother (the picture doesn't do him credit.. especially since it did that weird cut off thing..)

 Handing steak out through the curtain...


It was an absolutely delicious meal!  We had Fillet Mignon (from our own cows, I might add, which makes them all the better), Potatoes for a Crowd (shaped into hearts), pear/grape/apple salad tossed in a creamy sauce, and a wonderful salad with an AMAZING dressing for our 'appetizer'.

Dessert was chocolate pudding with vanilla meringue on top. Very good!!!  I'm sorry I didn't get any pictures of the meal.  I happened to misplace the camera between the pre-meal pics, and then dinner.. I don't know what happened.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that our dinner was served on some cute heart shaped plates!

I'm hoping to get some pictures of our first ever Top Shot Competition, and of a new project that Josh and I are doing (mostly Josh, though...)

In Christ's Service,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Being Single on Valentines Day... is it really a problem?

I've seen several posts floating around on blogger about being single.  Many of them are very good points emphasizing how we, as singles, shouldn't be worried about it and how we need to have Jesus as first in our life. However, I've also seen those with the "Happy Single's Awareness Day".


Why is it that we DO make such a big deal out of being single... on Valentine's day? It seems like we don't mind it as much on other days, but come Valentines day, we are glum, envious of those that do have a 'special person', and generally feeling lonely.

Quite frankly, the only reason I'd like a guy for Valentine's day is so that he can bring me chocolates.  Ok, I'm joking.  However, this is a pretty serious matter.

In the Bible, Paul exhorts us to use our time wisely while we are single.  In fact, he tells us that it is GOOD to be single.  We are much better able to serve Jesus when we are single because we don't have to worry about a family to take care of, household duties that need to be done, etc.

So, why is it that we tend to get a bit melancholy on Valentines day?

Well, let's face it.  God made us to want to be married, to have a partner in life.  However, He also gave us that wonderful thing called Passion.  This is what we should have for Jesus Christ our Lord.  We should have a passion for Him beyond anything we have ever felt for any one. Period.

So yes, it's fun to think about the day when we will have that special someone to share Valentine's with, but at the same time, we should be glad that we ARE still single because we are better able to serve our Lord.  When we're single, He is able to use us in ways that He can't when we're married.

Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't get married. In fact, that is a beautiful thing that God has created.  I'm just pointing out that we really shouldn't be bothered by being single on Valentines day. :-)

So, for all you singles out there, go and serve the Lord! Let Him use you in those special ways.

In Christ's Service,

P.S. I'll be posting pictures of our family's valentines dinner tomorrow or sometime later.. ;-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thats What I'm Talking About!

When a girl reaches a certain age, she realizes that it would probably be a good idea to start looking for a car of her own.  Especially if she isn't married (and doesn't see that happening in the near future), and has begun to have her own schedule of sorts.  This is what my dear sister Becs has begun to do.  She has started up her own Pampered Chef business, has her own set of friends separate from the family, and has her own schedule to follow (although she still lives at home and does follow the family schedule of cows and whatnot).  However, if our family needs to go somewhere in the afternoon, but she needs the car for something else, we can be in a bit of a predicament. So, she's begun looking at different cars.  Her idea of what she would like is something like this:

I think it's a nice car. It will hold several people, is spacious, but not huge like a suburban. 

So, I decided that I should start looking as well.  I mean, that way I can start saving up so that by the time I have my license and need a car of my own, I'll have enough money to buy one. 

A practical thing to do would be to get a smaller car, or a vehicle similar to the one my sister is looking at.  However, freeways scare me if I am in something smaller than our Excursion.  Thus, why I'm looking at this right here:

Now, that's what I'm talking about!!  I don't know why, but I've always thought it would be cool to own my own truck.  I'm not your 'small car' type of girl. Although I could live with one if I needed to, I prefer something a bit larger.  And, as I don't think a Marauder would fit in my budget, and Hummers are way too square and bulky, a truck would be next in line.  Not to mention that we could always use it here on the ranch to haul trailers, feed cows, etc. 

Lots of girls are probably raising their eye brows at me right now, and I don't blame them.  But, I'm just not your typical girly girl.  Granted, I do enjoy being feminine, dressing up in frilly clothes, and being treated like a lady.  However, sometimes my ranch girl takes over. :-) If hay bales need to be bucked, I'll get out there a do it.  If a cow needs to be rounded up, I'll do it.  If I need to get down in the mud to fix a water tank, I'll do it.  So, that's just about it. :-)

Of course, we'll see if the truck dream actually comes true.. However, that's what I'm aiming for right now. :-) 

Are any of you saving up for something big, even if it isn't a car?

In Christ's Service,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Drama, The Wintons, a Surprise Visit, and a Bunch of Random Stuff

First Topic:  Drama!!

Oh, the exciting life with all the drama!!.... not.  Actually, it's about our Drama group, though I suppose that all of you got that.

Any how, I am extremely happy about the play that we are doing this semester.  It is a comedy called "Hollywood Hillbillies".  Very funny and very reminiscent of our first one.  We were going to try doing some actual dramas, but our audience loves the comedies. And, as one gentleman put it, "we have enough drama in our lives that we don't need to watch it..". I agree!  It's a great thing for families to get together and go to an event that each member will enjoy, and they will laugh and talk about later.

There are three types of characters: Your average Joe, Hollywood snooty people, and hillbillies.  I get to be a hillbilly.  Frankly, I don't have to do a whole lot of acting to do my part. ;-)

Here are a few pictures from Tuesday at Drama practice.
 The Famous, well loved Director

 Sitting in the rows, gathering for mom's pep talk. ;-) 

 Gathering and plopping for "Script Reading Circle".  We decided it was much easier to just sit on the floor than to gather all the chairs for kids to sit on. 

 I have no idea what's wrong with this picture....

 Visitin' away

 Gram Hawley (me) and Cousin Clem 

 Greeting our stuck up Hollywood relatives

 Bubba (Caleb)."He's got this thing about crawling..."

 "Stand on your own two feet like you wuz human."

 Giving his cousins a "vulgar", as they would call it, welcome.

Waiting for his cue.

So, after drama, we went to a friends house (their girls are in the drama group) and hung out, had dinner, etc. We girls started recording another radio drama and had a blast. Then, we all loaded up and went to see the Wintons in Concert!  If no one has heard of the Wintons, they are an amazing Bluegrass Music group.  It is the father and his two sons.  They. Were. Amazing! I love bluegrass music any way where you can hear the banjo, guitar, mandolin, Dobro, etc. It's especially fun when you add a fiddle.. but I'm partial there.  In any case, this was truly spectacular. I really enjoyed it.  I did get a couple of videos of them playing, but as blogger still doesn't like it when I upload videos, I won't be able to share them at this time.  The one song I did not video, and I am extremely bummed that I didn't, was when the boys did Dueling Banjos. That is my ultimate favorite bluegrass song, and probably one that every bluegrass player knows.  Cody and Jessie, however, did an amazing twist with it that was totally enjoyable. They had lots of fun doing it, and you could tell.  So, I am SOOOOO bummed that I didn't get it recorded!!  I ended up getting so excited that they were playing it (and dedicated it to me, I might add!) that I totally forgot to record! *slaps forehead*.  And, you ask, how in the world did they dedicate it to me?  Well, it was actually my mom and myself.  They asked the audience (which wasn't that big, I might add) who had heard of dueling banjos. Mom and I were the only ones that nodded or whatever. So, they said they dedicated it to us. ;-) Any how, it was fun. Perhaps another time I will get to record it as I hope to go to another one of their concerts if they are ever in the area. :-)

A few pictures... Sorry they are kind of blurry. I turned the flash off because the flash is extremely bright.. and I didn't want to be drawing attention to myself in the middle of the song!

 (Again, I don't know why the camera/picture did that!)

Cody plays the banjo and Dobro.  Jessie plays the mandolin and guitar.  Both of them are state champions (maybe world.. can't remember) for picking.  They can pick those instruments faster 'n anyone I've ever seen! It's really neat, especially since they're only 19 and 17.
The Surprise visit!!!  Oh this was neat.  We are getting ready for church one morning (it was at our house) when my brother calls down the hall that one of the families was here.  We were still getting dressed and, obviously, freaked out.  Turns out he was just kidding.  Well, ten minutes later, he says, "Oh. Someone is here..." Becs and I were in the bedroom finishing up. I told her that they were kidding.  My mom kind of shrieked or something, so I thought they were just being super dramatic trying to tease us.. and then I heard another woman's voice.  I stepped out into the hallway and there were some very dear friends of ours!  They had moved to Alaska and we hadn't seen them in 2 years from the last time they visited.  This was a SUPER huge surprise!!  We were so excited. Their daughters are off at college, so Becs and I weren't able to see them. But, Mr. and Mrs. V were here and their son as well. It was just so nice to see them again! We were totally surprised. :-)  We'll get to see them again this coming Sunday as they plan on joining us for church again.

My random part of the post is boring. I haven't been doing a whole lot.  Some school, but mostly been lazy as I've had this lingering cough from my strep that just. Won't. Go. Away.  Extremely frustrating because I don't sleep well, which means I'm tired throughout the day. That's pretty much why I haven't been accomplishing a whole lot.
 Josh and I are going to be entering our home school convention Showcase with a comedy skit from the Smothers Brothers. Our Home school convention has one night where you can bring the whole family for free. We do the showcase (home school students can play instruments, sing, etc. They just enter and wait to find out if they got picked or not), this year a choir will be coming and singing several songs, and then we have a speaker who gives a talk.  It's a very fun night and interesting as well.  Last year our speaker was a gentleman by the name of Emir Caner. Some of you may have heard of him, or may have had the enjoyment of hearing him speak.  For those of you who don't know, Mr. Caner was a Muslim who turned to Christianity.  His talks are really neat to hear and I really enjoy listening to them.

Any how, I suppose that's about all. I could get to rambling some more, but I'm sure you really don't want to hear that. ;-)

How is everyone else doing?  Anything exciting (or boring) going on?

In Christ's Service,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I've been given an Award!

Miss Ella has kindly given me the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.  Thank you Ella!


I must post 7 random things about myself
I must award 10 other people.

Ok, random facts about myself:

1. I'm a morning person. But I don't mind sleeping in every now and then.
2. I love cute, feminine clothes.
3. When I was younger I preferred be out places instead of being at home.. now it's the opposite.
4. On of my favorite pastimes is riding horses when I can.
5. I love to laugh.
6. Living out here on the ranch is the BEST thing ever.
7. I think it would be fun to visit or live in Montana.

I tag
Rebecca from A Prairie Princess
Carolyn at Carolyn's Cozy Corner
Carrie at Be All Smiles
Emily at Emily's Blog
Lily at Lily In His Field
Bethany at Rejoice Evermore
Samantha at Simple Delights
Martha Joy at On the Farm with MJoy
Prairie Momma at Country Musings
Frannie at Authentic Virtue

Note: To those I have tagged:  You don't have to participate in this if you don't want to. It is fun, though!

Thank you again, Ella, for awarding me!

In Christ's Service,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pictures From Mama's Birthday

Alright!  Here are some pictures from last evening!  Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures at Drama because I thought I'd left the camera at home.  Then, when it was time to leave, I found the camera sitting happily in my purse. Argh.  Oh well! I'll have to get some next time. :-)

So, the day started like any other birthday.  Whoever is the birthday person gets to do whatever they want in the morning (within reason, of course) while the others fix up a nice breakfast.  We kids usually stay in bed and read or something.  Mom got up and did a few things instead.

We made Banana-Pecan pancakes for breakfast with bacon on the side. YUM! We enjoyed some lovely conversation with breakfast, then got ready to leave for Drama. 

We headed out the door, grabbed lunch on the way, and made it!  Drama practice went well. Lots of laughs and fellowship and encouraging one another. It's great. :-)

After drama, we went shopping. Boring. I don't really care for shopping! We got our groceries for the week and came home to dinner, already prepared, that Dad had brought home from a GREAT BBQ place in town called "Rudys". It. Is. The. Best! SOOOOOO good.  They serve brisket.  Oh. My. Words can't describe!!!  And, since they won't, I'll let the pictures do all the talking! haha!

The birthday girl!

 My yummy food.  Potatoes swimming in butter, creamed corn, and BRISKET!!! with the famous Rudy's BBQ sauce!

 Mom got a Pressure Cooker! She's been wanting one for a while.

 Nana and Caleb

A terrible picture of me.... But, I figured I might as well share it. That way a picture of everyone in the family is in this post! ;-)

After dinner, we each take a turn telling the birthday person, in this case, Mama, what we like about her.  I think it's a wonderful tradition. Often times we forget how many things we like about a person and focus only on the negative.. and sometimes that person forgets what they are worth!  So, that is probably my favorite tradition for birthdays. :-)

Thank you to those who wished Mama a happy birthday here and on her blog. :-)
And! Happy February First!!

In Christ's Service,